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How Long to Wait After Treating Termites Before Repairing Damage

June 28, 2022
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The key to avoiding infestations is to spot the termites before they destroy wooden posts, walls, and ceilings. But if routine maintenance and checks don’t cut it when it comes to preventing damage to our spaces, we turn to termite treatments and hope they succeed. But the moment they do, some may wonder how soon they should do any damage repair after. 

So how long should you wait until doing any damage repair? You can begin repairing the damage to your space a few days after the treatment seeps through your home. The sooner it’s done, the more likely you could still preserve the integrity of the structure of your space, especially the parts that have been damaged by termites. It’s best to tap the professionals from reliable firms to have your damages repaired. 

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How Soon Should Repairs Be Done After Termite Treatment?

It’s best to hire professionals to treat your house and manage the damages at the soonest possible time. This is because the scope of the infestation isn’t obvious to the naked eye at first, and you may miss out on key structures in the house that have already been damaged.

Likewise, if you’re moving into a new home and you find signs of termite damage, take time to work with a reputable team of termite experts to remove the pests from your home. Otherwise, you may find that the termites don’t fully go away without proper treatment. Self-treating the termite infestation may not work for larger rooms and houses. 

The most important thing to do is to ensure that no termites are lingering in the house. Minor infestations may only affect the most visible areas of the house, but larger-scale infestations can affect even attics and basements. Planting bait stations may help you find the areas with the most termites. Insecticides can help buy some time to prevent more damage from the termites. 

Once a professional team has arrived, they will use an odorless gas to exterminate the termites from your home. Depending on the size, treatment may take anywhere from a day up to a week. If you want to prevent larger-scale damage to your home, make sure to contact a professional right away.

Urgent Signs of Termite Damage

Most homeowners will only realize the extent of the damage to their homes when it is too late. The most pressing signs involve deteriorated ceilings, walls, and weaker structural integrity. However, there are a few signs that will show you the presence of termites, just in time before the infestation becomes too prevalent. These signs may indicate that you need to contact a team to come up with a plan for termite treatment and home restoration. 

1) Deformed Ceilings and Walls

Termites work by creating small tunnels and pinholes in their target areas. Most of the time, the parts of the house with the most prevalent damage are ceilings and walls. Houses that use plywood and other lighter materials are common victims of termites. 

The most common way to test for damage to your ceilings or walls is by knocking on them. If you hear a hollow sound, your ceiling or wall could be deformed from within. The deformities may happen even without obvious defects in the paint job of the ceiling or wall. It helps to conduct routine checks in these structures to look for termites.

Outside your house, you may also notice some ceilings that seem to be peeling from the surface. This is another sign that termites have infested your home. Wallpapers may also easily come off, indicating that the underlying wood is already damaged. 

2) Mud Tunnels

Mud tunnels are another concern for home properties with termites. These are the most visible signs of a termite infestation since they look like piles of soil attached to the ceilings and walls. These tubes start outside the home and into the interiors of your home, damaging the appearance of the ceilings, walls, and doors. 

The mud tunnels act as the termites’ protection from the air. Destroying the mud tubes exposes the termites to dry temperatures, which can kill them easily. The tunnels also act as their transportation for food items. However, it’s still most important to remove the termites from the area with the help of a proper extermination crew. 

Some mud tunnels may remain in the house for years, even if the termites have left. One way to check for an active infestation is to break off a small part of the mud tunnel. You may peek within the tunnel to check if there are any termites. You may not find any at first, so it helps to come back later to check if the break has been repaired. A repaired tunnel means that termites are still active in the area. 

3) Visible Termite Swarms

Visible termite swarms are a huge threat to the house and indicate that they have already infested large rooms. The termite swarms contain the insects responsible for reproduction and maintaining the colony. Termite swarm workers have large wings. You may also find their remains just outside the mud tunnels. 

To test for active infestations, you may add a lightbulb near suspected areas. Swarmers are attracted to bright light sources, so this is one way to find the most actively infested sites in your home. They will simply approach the light source. Swarmers don’t live very long and you may also find discarded wings along with your windows and doorways. 

Swarms look similar to flying ants, although they have straighter skeletons and wings.

Common Methods of Wood Repair After Termite Damage

Although it can be tempting to repair the damaged wood by yourself, a professional can easily fix these areas faster and more reliably. Self-repair is only advisable for smaller areas, as larger rooms may need a mixture of different wood types to create a long-lasting structure. Repairs that involve posts and ceilings are also more complicated, so it helps to contact a reliable repairman for the job. 

1) Wood Replacement

One of the most common ways to repair wood is to replace the damaged materials altogether. Most of the time, the hollowed-out wood is too far gone to be used again. These may also attract more termites since the spaces may act as a possible housing platform for new swarms. Make sure to work well with the repairmen in choosing the material, as it might alter the appearance of your home.

2) Wood Support

Sometimes, parts of the wood can still be salvaged to create new structures. The spaces may be filled with wood hardeners and other materials. To ensure the success of the wood support, you have to wait for it to dry out. Once the material seems to have dried, it helps to check the structural integrity of the platform by pushing and moving it to check its stability.

You can use sandpaper to match the surface of the wood with the initial shape and appearance. This method only works if the wood has retained enough of its composition. Severely hollowed-out wood is best discarded to avoid a return of the termites.

For wood that has larger grooves, a wood filler is more suitable than a hardener. When applying the fillers, make sure you follow the instructions to prevent air bubbles from appearing. Use a knife to even out the wood and ensure that the wood looks its best.

Termite Treatment for Prevention

Prevention is still the best way to get rid of termites fast. Mud tunnels running through the side of the house are a telltale sign of infestation but could mean that there are already large colonies of the insects around the house. As soon as you feel any hollowness in the walls and ceilings of your home, try to apply some of the common methods to check and prevent termite infestation.

These include:

  • Termite traps
  • Nematodes
  • Sun exposure
  • Insecticides

You can start by finding the most common areas for termite infestation. These include the bathroom and kitchen—areas that usually experience dampness. In these areas, look for flaky or swollen surfaces. You can also listen carefully for light buzzing, which usually indicates swarms of termites inside the walls.

1) Termite Traps

Termite traps are pieces of cardboard used to lure the insects out of hiding. This method is done by stacking wet pieces of cardboard together to attract termites. Since the trap acts as a new food source, the insects will flock toward it for nutrition. Once the termites are attached to the trap, you can grab them while wearing a glove.

Remove the trap and burn it. You can repeat this process many times. Unfortunately, this will not completely destroy the termite colony.

2) Nematodes

Nematodes are small parasitic worms used in some rural areas for pest treatment. The worms can be purchased in gardening stores. You have to plant them in moist soil areas near the suspected colonies for maximum efficiency.

3) Sun Exposure

In some cases, it helps to take out the infested furniture and place it under direct sunlight. Termites don’t like direct sun exposure, and the heat will kill many of them within days. You may supplement this method by adding nearby cardboard traps to lure more termites in the area.

4) Insecticides 

Insecticides are a common method to get rid of light termite infestations. Many hardware stores carry spray bottles that contain Boric acid, a chemical lethal to termites. The acid dehydrates the termites and kills large groups of termites with one application. However, the acid needs to be applied in areas close to the infestation so it can directly interact with the termites. 

How Does Treatment for Termites Work?

Treatment experts use 2 different methods of treatment. These include liquid termiticides and baits. Termiticides have long been used to get rid of termites in both rural and urban areas. These chemicals work by introducing barriers in the soil, preventing the termites from entering domestic structures like houses. Although they primarily function as a preventive measure, the termites inside the home also die out as well. 

New forms of termiticides directly kill termites upon contact. They also destroy nearby tunnels. These chemicals are carefully administered by technicians to ensure safety and maximum efficiency. 

When it comes to baiting, professionals use a specific type of termite food to lure out the insects. Unlike cardboard baits, no burning is necessary to kill the termites. The exterminators combine the food with termiticide to ensure that the pests die out entirely. These traps are placed underneath the soul to act as a preventive measure against termites. 

Since the traps contain food, the termites are tricked to share it with their colony members, destroying entire groups near your area. Baits may be used in conjunction with liquid termiticides to completely remove termite infestations. The availability of these treatments may vary per area. 

No matter what approach you end up going with, it is best to ask a proper team of pest management experts to apply the solutions. You may end up harming yourself when handling lethal chemicals if you self-treat. Additionally, they may also help you come up with long-term solutions to repair the structural damage in your home. 

Fix Your Termite Problems Fast With Positive Pest Management

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When it comes to selecting a termite company for your needs, you should consider time, budget, location, and availability. An extermination company should help you get rid of the termites as fast as possible to stop any further damage. Choose a firm that is willing to work with you to help restore the beauty of your home. 

At Positive Pest Management, we ensure that you receive the best quality termite extermination services in Manhattan. We serve the wider New York City area, as well as the nearby Nassau County in Long Island. Restore your space to its former glory and keep termite infestations at bay with us. Contact us today for a quote

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